Monday, May 21, 2012

DIY: What I have been up to!

I feel like I have been missing. I don't get a chance to truly blog these days.  I have been working various temp jobs during my off days which means I work full 6-7 day weeks.  I actually enjoy the temp jobs so I am not complaining. It just doesn't leave me with much energy at the end of the day.  Atleast not mental energy.

But I wanted to show you some things that i have been working on lately. Most of these are from the weekend, but a couple are from the last 2 weeks.  If you want the recipes, let me know.  I'll link where I can but I have made some variations to most of these.

Cast Iron Pizza: I saw the idea on Pinterest, but I modified it significantly. I would normally be all up for making my own crust but it has to sit for 2 hours and it was a last minute decision.  I bought canned uncooked crust.  Grated some Mozzarella cheese and sprinkled goat cheese on top of that.  Then i grilled up some fried onions on my cast iron griddle.  And placed those on top. MMM.  Then I heated the pizza on the stove top (at high) for 3-5 minutes. Then I placed the skillet in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the crust was golden brown and cooked through.  This was an amazing dish. You can vary your ingredients to your liking.

Stuffed Cheesy Bread: Another Pinterest find.  Again, I varied it pretty significantly. I bought a small to medium sized loaf of whole wheat bread from my local store.  If you make bread, that will work as well.  I cut the bread using my electric knife about 3/4 the way down in a cross pattern.  Then I took sliced muenster cheese, torn into smaller strips or chunks and placed it in the cuts.  I put a piece of cheese in all possible slots.  Then I grilled up some fried onions... seeing a theme?  I placed those on top and pushed them down into the slots.  Then i melted about 2tbsp of butter, added about a tsp of poppy seeds and poured it over the bread evenly. Then I baked it in the oven at 350 for about 8-10 minutes until the cheese was melty. I have made this twice in last 2 weeks and have gotten rave reviews. An easy and fun appetizer!

Peanut Butter Pretzels: Another Pinterest find. This one does not involve fried onions ;) And I didn't vary it much, if at all.  These were super yummy. I used cheap peanut butter since I was going to be adding so much other stuff.  Next time i make these I am going to try Trader Joe's Cookie butter instead. Oh My.

Stuffed Pork: This was not a Pinterest find.  I found it on YouTube actually.  I googled stuffed pork because the recipes I saw on Pinterest weren't doing it for me.  I came across a technique for flattening out the pork so it can be stuffed and realized it was one video in a series.  So i watched them all and created this for dinner.  We had some good friends over and they seemed to enjoy it!  The only variation I made is that I cooked the seared pork in my crock pot so it took a little longer.  I have a probe crock pot.  It helped so I wouldn't over cook the pork.  But, I had it set at 170degrees. I think I could have set it at 160/165 and had an even more tender yet cooked pork.

Fruits of The Spirit: My roommate is the Children's Director for our church.  She works along side other CDs from the other parishes and one of the other CDs decided to crochet some fruits to go along with their summer series: Fruits of the Spirit.  She asked me if i could make a set for her team.  So I looked up some knitting patterns for different fruits. These are the two (Apple and Pear) I have done so far. Only 5 more to go :) I have a lot of scrap and throw away yarn. This project has been helpful in using some of that. These are pretty easy if you are comfortable with double pointed needles.

Tile Coasters:  These have been an ongoing project of mine for about 2 months now.  I bought ceramic tiles from Lowes and printed out my own photography.  I used an epoxy to coat the tops.  Getting the consistency for the coating has been a real challenge. I have had a hard time getting these right.  I either don't glue the image down right and create a sharp edge under the epoxy or I don't get the epoxy coating thick enough which makes for a sloppy looking coaster.  Eventually when I get them right, I plan on putting a thin cork layer on the bottom.  I plan to sell these on my Etsy when I am done.  At the rate I am going, that might be next year.

Hope you enjoyed my fun little projects.  This week, the plan is to create a meal plan for my roommate and I.  We want to be better at taking our lunches. I'd also like to make a plan for dinners for the week. SO today I plan to do all the prep for that.  Comment if you have any low budget, low calories (yet filling) lunch and dinner ideas.

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